News & Notes

By: Marcus Ladd on: October 06, 2014 8:41 am | laddmm

Mark Levy, at right

Mark Levy, at right

During the summer of 1964, the Western College campus in Oxford, Ohio served as the training ground for a remarkable undertaking: the coordinated and determinedly peaceful effort to register African-Americans to vote in the hostile and heavily segregated state of Mississippi. Most of the volunteers were white college students who felt a personal calling to support the civil rights of beleaguered African-Americans. A few were themselves African-Americans. Three young men – two white, one black – left Oxford for Mississippi and were never seen alive again.

But there was more to that summer than those three tragic deaths. There were many acts of individual courage, many acts of connection and enlightenment, and many lives, both of Mississippi residents and of volunteers that were forever changed by the experience of that summer. Next weekend about 50 of those volunteers will return to Oxford to remember that summer and to share the impact on their lives during a special reunion and 50th anniversary conference.

On Friday, Oct. 10, three of them will share their stories with us in a panel presentation, “Telling Our Stories: Building the Freedom Summer Legacy,” beginning at 4:15 p.m. This panel serves as the Second Annual Special Collections Lecture, highlighting the Freedom Summer Archive in the Western College Memorial Archives.

Carole Gross Colca, in front with children

Carole Gross Colca, in front with children

Our three guests – Carole Gross Colca, Mark Levy and Roland Duerksen – have all donated personal materials to the Freedom Summer Archive. During the panel presentation they’ll talk about the impact of Freedom Summer on their lives, as well as why they felt it was important to preserve and share the documents of that experience.

The fall exhibit in the Special Collections gallery showcases materials they have donated. “Stories of Freedom Summer from the Western College Memorial Archives” will be on view before and after the panel presentation and through the remainder of the semester, until December 12.

Please join us on October 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. for a fascinating presentation, followed by a reception and an opportunity to view the exhibit and interact with our speakers. The event is free and open to the public.

Elizabeth Brice
Assistant Dean for Technical Services & Special Collections

Prof. Roland Duerksen, at right behind children

Prof. Roland Duerksen, at right behind children

By: Anonymous on: August 10, 2016 9:51 am | Anonymous

This year is the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer and the Miami community has come together to learn about and reflect on the events in 1964 that began here in Oxford, Ohio. The Libraries is proud to sponsor the Freedom Summer Conference as well as share our collections in an effort to gain an appreciation for our local connection to an important time in the civil rights movement.

Members of the Miami and Oxford communities have a unique opportunity to participate in the Freedom Summer Conference taking place October 11-14.  The opening session will be moderated by Jerome Conley, Miami University Dean of Libraries. The discussion includes many tremendous speakers who will share their experience and insight into the civil rights movement. Join us as we honor the bravery and sacrifice of the Freedom Summer volunteers and learn how we can continue to advocate for the rights and freedoms of all people.

For the complete conference schedule and to register, go to:

http://westernarchives.lib.miamioh.edu/freedomsummer/conference/

For information about our Freedom Summer collections, go to:

http://libguides.lib.miamioh.edu/FreedomSummer

 

Opening Session: Monday, October 13, 9-10:30 a.m.

Marcum Center 180-186

“Understanding the Past, Building the Future”, with Raymond F. Gorman, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, introducing a conversation between contemporary civil rights activists about the role of the civil rights movement in past and present.

Moderator: Jerome Conley, Miami University Dean of Libraries.

Panelists: Charles Cobb, Brown University; Sylvia Golbin Goodman, The Andrew

Goodman Foundation; David Goodman, The Andrew Goodman Foundation; Tom

Dutton, Miami University; Gloria Wade Gayles, Spelman College; Rev. Clifton

Kilpatrick, community organizer and pastor, Zanesville, Ohio; Hanan Sabea, The

American University in Cairo.

 
By: Anonymous on: August 10, 2016 9:51 am | Anonymous

Today is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and is a time to celebrate the accomplishments, heritage and culture of Hispanics.  September 15th is the anniversary of the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in 1821, and followed shortly thereafter by Mexico, Chile and Belize. If you would like to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, see this site by the Library of Congress.

We honor these Hispanic authors whose works are in the Miami University Libraries' collection.  Choose an author you haven't read and add them to your reading list!

Isabel Allende

Julia Alvarez

Jorge Luis Borges

Sandra Cisneros

Paul Coelho

Julio Cortazar

Junot Diaz

Carlos Fuentes

Mario Vargas Llosa

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Esmeralda Santiago

 

 

 

By: Anonymous on: August 10, 2016 9:51 am | Anonymous

Do you want to learn more about Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Movement?  Keep the conversation going!  Miami University Libraries offers a wealth of resources from books and digital collections to video and audio items.  These resources have been compiled in one place for your convenience.  Contact any librarian if you need assistance in locating these items!

 

http://libguides.lib.miamioh.edu/FreedomSummer

By: Marcus Ladd on: June 11, 2014 7:41 am | laddmm

Please note that, as of June 1st, the URL of the Bowden Postcard Collection Online is http://digital.lib.MiamiOH.edu/postcards.

It's been about a year since the project first began, so I thought now would be a good time to review the latest updates to the Bowden Postcard Collection Online. As I wrote about in November, this digital collection is being developed from the donation of roughly 480,000 postcards by two friends and Miami alumni: Clyde N. Bowden and Charles Shields. The project began last summer with a pilot that used a handful of cards from each state in Bowden's collection. These cards were digitized, given metadata records, and added to CONTENTdm - our digital content management system.

One of the Oxford, Ohio, postcards being pulled from the cabinet.
One of the Oxford, Ohio, postcards being pulled from the cabinet.

In the year since we began, we have digitized nearly 2,200 postcards, mostly from Ohio. There have been some setbacks along the way, most notably the recognition in December for a need to revise our already existing metadata records. At the same time, however, we have also made great strides forward. Clyde N. Bowden, the donor and namesake, was very excited to hear about the project and has given us a very generous donation to fund the current Ohio-focused work. His was not the only positive feedback we have had, either. Since joining the Commons, our digital collections' Flickr account - of which the postcards represent a substantial portion - has averaged between 10-20,000 views a day, and the number of monthly hits we have received in CONTENTdm for the full collection has likewise increased several times over. One particularly memorable response was from someone who recognized his father in a photograph used for one of the Oxford postcards.

The work of creating card numbers and sorting the cards in the Shields collection was made significantly easier thanks to his labels.
The work of creating card numbers and sorting the cards in the Shields collection was made significantly easier thanks to his labels.

In addition to his financial contribution, Mr. Bowden also donated to us several boxes of books about postcards, books of postcards, and other postcard-related miscellanea. We are also receiving another generous donation from the Columbus Metropolitan Library in the form of roughly 500 postcards from their own collection - many of them being from the mid-20th century Middle East.

So where do we go from here? Thanks to Mr. Bowden's donation, we are able to investigate commercial digitization which will save a significant portion of our students' time and labor, allowing them to focus on creating the metadata records and adding them to the collection online. We also are expanding our operation and bringing on a third student this summer to help with the work. With the digitization outsourced and the extra help, I am anticipating having over 5,000 postcards online by the end of 2014. Once we have completed the roughly 8,000 postcards remaining in the Bowden collection, we will add the Ohio postcards from the Shields collection. My goal for the project is to complete both collections' Ohio cards - about 15,000 in total! - by the end of spring 2016. I have also created a Twitter account - @bowdenpostcards - to track new postcards being added to the collection. Although currently inactive for the summer break, I look forward to seeing the account continue to log the latest additions to the collection, including a fascinating postcard flipbook from early 1900's Portsmouth, Ohio (watch a video of it on the Special Collections blog here).

Finally, as part of the aforementioned metadata revisions, we have narrowed the geographic location of each card - sometimes even to a specific street or building! Using this new information, we are developing a map to visualize the data in the collection. The map will be created using the Leaflet JavaScript Library, as well as some homegrown PHP and MySQL. In order to gather the necessary information from the CONTENTdm database, I wrote a script that queries the API for information about each item. This information is then pushed to a SQL database on one of our library's server - and in turn will be used to populate the map. The script itself is set to run on a weekly basis to continually update the SQL database. By preloading all the responses from the API, we are able to significantly reduce the time required to load the map. I am hoping to deploy the map by the end of June, so keep an eye on the collection!

Proof of concept for postcard map
Proof of concept for postcard map

Happy browsing.

Marcus Ladd
Special Collections Librarian & Postcard Czar

By: Jason Paul Michel on: May 08, 2014 3:22 pm | micheljp small twitter logo@jpmichel

During Finals Week the 3rd Floor of King will have more open spaces for everyone to study!

Don't forget that we also have places to study in the B.E.S.T. Library in Laws Hall, the Art & Architecture Library in the basement of Alumni Hall and the Amos Music Library in the Center for Performing Arts.

By: Jason Paul Michel on: April 28, 2014 1:40 pm | micheljp small twitter logo@jpmichel

By: Marcus Ladd on: April 18, 2014 8:38 pm | laddmm

As of Friday April 16, 2014, the portal to our digital collections is now http://digital.lib.miamioh.edu/.

Digital Collections homepage

On behalf of Special Collections and the Center for Digital Scholarship, I am excited to announce the launch of our new digital collections portal. The new website is the end result of a long migration process of collections divided across instances of DSpace and CONTENTdm version 4.3 into a single, up-to-date instance of CONTENTdm 6.6. In addition to a variety of new features, the new instance is based on a significantly improved platform to allow for better searching and viewing of the items in our digital collections.

List of currently available collections

In total, our digital collections hold roughly 90,000 items, shared between over two dozen collections. These collections include:

The migration project began over a year ago and was spearheaded by John Millard, the Head of the Center for Digital Scholarship, and Elias Tzoc, the Digital Initiatives Librarian. From Special Collections, I have been collaborating with them to migrate and update the information about our collections that have been digitized. The project had several stages, each with their own unique set of challenges, including coordinating import/export tools from different platforms, updating image files to current standards, and preparing for a seamless-as-possible transition to a new platform.

This migration also comes ahead of Miami University’s domain name overhaul - migrating from the muohio.edu domain name (which will be defunct June 1st of this year) to the newer MiamiOH.edu. As a part of this, we are working to ensure that citations to our digital collections elsewhere on the web are ready for the migration and domain name change. One of the biggest current challenges in this is updating the links in our Flickr collections that lead back to the full objects and metadata records in CONTENTdm. Earlier this year, Miami University Libraries’ digital collections officially joined the Flickr Commons. Since then, I have been tracking the changes in views of both our Flickr account and their comparable collections in CONTENTdm. I have been thrilled to note the significant increase of both, but it has become clear to me that when it comes to access, there is no competition - the increase of views of the Bowden Postcard Collection Online in CONTENTdm is outnumbered fifteen times over by the views on Flickr. While the Flickr collection only shows the front of the card and a limited version of the metadata found in the CONTENTdm collection, the number of views is undeniable evidence of the importance of social media platforms for access in the modern world of information.

Page from Thomas B. Marshall's diary

Another exciting part of this migration is the relaunch of our Civil War Diaries online collection. These diaries include three kept by Miami students and three by local Ohio community members who took up arms to fight for the Union. The diarists, all of whom served as members of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, record their impressions and experiences on a variety of topics, including their interrupted college studies, the daily life of a soldier, military engagements and news from the home front. In the near future we will be also relaunching our digitized Samuel Richey Collection of the Southern Confederacy, as well as digitizing and making available new materials related to the American Civil War.

Studio 14 host Rick Ludwin

Finally, I am pleased to announce the completion of our newest digital collection: the Studio 14 Archives. This collection features digitized copies of the variety show produced by Miami students under the oversight of Dr. Bill Utter, from 1968-1970. The two-inch wide quadruplex videotape originals were kept by the show’s producer, Miami alumnus Rick Ludwin, who had them digitized and donated them to Special Collections so that we might be able to make them publicly available online. Special Collections continues to enjoy an ongoing relationship with Mr. Ludwin, who spoke at Special Collections’ first Annual Lecture Series. In addition to being a Miami alumnus, Rick Ludwin was also VP at NBC, where he is remembered for backing a new show called Seinfeld. The Studio 14 episodes in this collection feature a wide range of sketch comedy, musical performances, and famous guests. Happy viewing!

Marcus Ladd
Special Collections Librarian

By: Katie Gibson on: April 18, 2014 9:52 am | gibsonke

Gabriel Garcia MarquezGabriel García Márquez, the best-known author of the Boom generation of Latin American Authors died Thursday. García M´rquez was well known for his use of magical realism and incorporating Latin American history and politics in to his novels and short stories. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982.
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